Patra's Other Place

I started out with Patra's Place, primarily dedicated to my linen collection and stitching projects. But I kept getting side-tracked, so I decided to create Patra's Other Place for anything not related to embroidery topics. So you now have a choice. If you are interested in me, read this. If you only want to see my linen and stitching, visit Patra's (original) Place! (Please note that by clicking on any of the photos, they will be enlarged to fill your computer screen.)

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Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except two cats and a collection of finches, canaries and Rhode Island bantam hens.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Got my car back, but want to trade my body in!

My dear old car is back on the road feeling as good as new.  Well, as good as a 12 year old car can feel to me.  The onboard computer has been replaced, and the mechanic who worked on it said today the car still has a lot of life in it, and he agrees with my decision to keep it going for a few more years.

Wish I could trade my body in as easily.  I've made an appointment with my doctor for the regular pap smear test next month, and I am going to ask her to refer me to a rheumatologist.  Like most of us once we hit 50 and 60 and beyond, I have had aches and pains come and go.  But in the past year, I wake up aching and got to bed aching.  And I'm so tired all the time.  I know I have osteo arthritis as well as osteopenia, both conditions confirmed by x-rays, blood tests, bone density scans, etc. and various treatments have been prescribed - Vitamin D, Panodol Osteo, osteopathy, weight bearing exercises, and TaiChi, all of which I have taken on in varying degrees.  At the clinic we go to, one of the doctors told me a few years ago that I was getting old like we all do, and to just deal with it! 

Today, my osteopath was quite worried about the state I was in.  He told Ken later it is the worst he has ever seen me.  I shuffled into his treatment room and plonked myself down in a chair.  I used to bounce up on the treatment table, and roll over on to my back or front with ease, but now it takes longer to climb up, and rolling over doesn't exist for me any more!  He asked me a few questions about exercise, diet and sleep patterns, and I had to admit that sleep is a low priority for me as there are so many things I like to do at night when it is quiet - read, sew, sit at the computer, sometimes up to 3 am.  I usually wake up between 9 and 10 am, which is fine now that we are retired, but he said I've fallen into a bad sleep pattern which probably has a lot to do with the way I'm feeling.   He asked if I drink much water and I admitted that I probably don't drink as much as I should - one or two glasses a day, and a few cups of tea or coffee.

Then he asked what exercise I do, and the answer to that is easy - none apart from neck and back stretching exercises in the mornings.   He suggested I should walk or swim.  I can't swim, so I'm not going down that track at my age!  And I used to walk a lot - every morning before work for years, and on weekends with Ken, and with friends since I retired.  But in the past year my feet and knees hurt so much if I walk any more than a block, so I don't do that either.  He asked if I'd had blood tests to see if I had rheumatoid arthritis, and I said not that I'm aware of, so he suggested I should look into that.

My priority now is to get some straight answers from an expert.  I don't want to be operated on,  I don't want to exist on pain killers for the rest of my life, and I refuse to believe that at 67, my pain is due to getting old!  But like Ken, I'm having to pace myself and cut back on some activities.  For instance this year I have decided not to host our annual Australia Day party because the thought of cleaning up the back yard and patio (both of which need a lot of work), and setting up the gazebo and other items we put up for the day, just did my head in.  And Ken is as bad as me - he doesn't have the strength or energy to do any of that work either.   So I started phoning our friends to tell them of my decision, and the first one I called said straight away "But we can't NOT do Australia Day!   I'll have it here!".  The next friend said "I'll have it at my place next year!"   Times like this you know who your friends are :-)  Such a weight off my shoulders.  Now I'm looking forward to the 26th January, with just some food preparation to do, then sit back and relax!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Expensive start to the year.

You might as well say that it was an expensive end to last year with the Chook Ranch!  But that was planned, and a new car was definitely NOT on the agenda.  Still isn't really, but I might not have a choice.  On
Xmas Eve my brakes failed while I was backing down the driveway of a friend's house.  Thank goodness for manual transmission:  I jumped on the clutch and put the car into first gear, at the same time using the hand brake to slow down.  Came to a stop at the foot of the driveway just as a car drove past...

When I tried to re start the car it kept stalling.  Just as well I was only around the corner from home, and I just made it into the garage before it stalled again.   Luckily the ABS garage was open and they said to bring my car around, which I did, driving very carefully with Ken behind me in the ute.   They fixed the brakes which needed replacing at a cost of $380.  Fine, but when I drove off I only got about three blocks away when the car stalled again.  I phoned ABS on my mobile (what did we do before mobile phones?) and they said bring the car back.  I did, and they spent half an hour on it at no cost (now that's what I call the Christmas spirit) but with not much improvement.

I had to wait until this week when the mechanic at our usual garage started work, and he did some more work, replacing a gadget at a cost of nearly $700.  I drove off, but it was no better, so back it went.  They've had the car for three days, taken it to other places, and had experts in, and finally today some computer bloke came in and did some tests and announced the cause of the problem is the car's internal computer.  It will have to be replaced at a possible starting cost of over $1000, and that's before labour costs.  Ken wants me to trade it in right away on a newer model.  In the present condition I'd be lucky to get $1000 trade in value, and the cost of a good second hand car (I don't want a brand new car) would be about $10,000 or more.   My opinion is that I should get the computer replaced and keep my car, as it has only done 106,000 kl, and is still very reliable, and seeing I've just spent $1000 to keep it going, I'm reluctant to let it go so soon!

I'd be interested to read any opinions from readers....



Thursday, January 01, 2015

Some photos from the last few days of 2014.

I finally got some photos of our chook house name sign with my camera, so am able to post them here now (had some on the Samsung tablet but it was too much messing around to transfer them here).


Ralph (the rooster) looks like he is offended at my description of his girls!!

We went to Office Works after Christmas, to get the chook sign laminated.  While we were there, we had a look around, as one does at Office Works.  I persuaded Ken to buy himself a new chair for sitting at his desk, as he was using an old kitchen chair which must have been uncomfortable after a few minutes but he never complained.  But this?   I feel like I'm sharing the room with a killer whale - LOL!

Happy New Year!


Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Day.

We had a perfectly lovely day.  Just Ken and I with one of his cousins, who was on her own this year due to her siblings being elsewhere, so we invited her to join us.  I bought a turkey breast with bacon and sage stuffing at Coles and cooked that with the usual roast vegies.  We followed that with a pot of tea and some Christmas cake.   Here is Ken with cousin Ro, both of them pleasantly full of good food and apple cider!

I was given some lovely gifts again this year.  Ken gave me a GPS and a sapphire and diamond eternity ring.  I suggested that he wait until our 36th anniversary on January 6th but he wanted to give it to me as soon as he bought it, so there we were in the Greensborough Centre having a coffee, while he put the ring on my finger!  I felt like a teenager all over again, lol!




Other gifts that I received were a chook calendar, chook garden ornament, Xmas apron, Peacock cushion, a plant, and various items of food.  

Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Christmas to all.


Best wishes to all who read my blogs, for a peaceful and safe Christmas, and a happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Silly Season is in full swing again!

Some years nothing happens at all around here, it was just the two of us having quiet times at home.  This year is chaotic...by our standards, anyway.  It started out with the two birthday parties on the last weekend in November, that I posted about on this blog earlier.  Last week I was at the Embroiderers Guild on Tuesday for my last volunteer stint for the year, Thursday I was at Montsalvat for lunch, and Friday I visited a friend for some paper craft fun.  The weekend was pretty quiet mostly because the weather was crap, and we had a choice of going out, but decided to stay home instead.

Yesterday (Monday) I sewed furiously all day to try and finish some Xmas pressies that have been promised to friends. Today I had a friend over for afternoon tea and we exchanged gifts which was nice.  Tomorrow will be spent shopping, putting Xmas decorations up (not many, but enough to keep me occupied for a good hour or so), and finishing off the quilted runner gifts. After tea we will be going to the Avic.society Xmas break up party.   Thursday we are having two of Ken's cousins here for lunch.  Friday I'm having my hair cut in the morning, and we are having a cocktail party at 6.30 so I have a bit to do to prepare for that.  The occasion is to christen the new chook house.  At this stage there will be 8 people, but depending on who is available, there might be more.  Originally it was just cocktails and nibbles, but I now think it would be prudent to invite guests to stay on for some dinner as after a few drinks, they might not want to be driving home immediately!  I was planning on pizza takeaway, but am now thinking of cooking up a heap of chicken pieces in advance (do you think that will offend the chooks?), and having them with salad, bread, and fresh fruit platters.

There is nothing in the diary for the weekend, but the Eltham Farmers Market is open on Sunday morning, so I might head there to stock up on fresh fruit and vegies.  The following  Tuesday night we will be out to dinner with the Vintage Japanese motorcycle club, and Thursday is Ken's 72 birthday, and we are going out to dinner with his sister, her hubby, and some close friends.  A week later it will be Xmas, a week after that New Year, and a week after that our 36th wedding anniversary!  And all over for another year...phew!

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Chook house grand opening date confirmed.

After a week of nagging from a couple of my friends who are only looking for an excuse to hold a cocktail party, I have decided on the official opening date. Next Friday at 6.30 pm, allowing said friends to get home from work and get over here. We are going to have cocktails and nibbles and if anyone wishes to stay on for tea, I'll send out for pizza. I had decided on a name for the chook house, and have started designing the sign to be painted, but some friends dropped in today to have a look and on hearing the names that have already been suggested, he put in a new one: "Ken's Hens" Love it!! I had already thought of using "The Wilson Chicks" on the sign as a sub title, but Ken's Hens sounds much better!

 It has been a busy few weeks for me with lots of photos taken but as they are on my tablet, I'm not sure how to transfer them to my desktop computer so I can post them on to my blog. I think I can post them directly to the blog from the tablet, but it is messy (for me anyway) and I'd rather not waste time on doing that. I went to Montsalvat for lunch with a friend last week. I'd been to the cafe and gallery a few times in the past year or so, but never had the time to have a good look around. Ken and I went there when we first moved to Eltham 35 years ago, and we didn't think much of it at all, as it was really run down and grubby looking. But since then there have been a lot of changes in managers and funding, and today it is a wonderful place to visit. Fourteen acres of land with building dotted around - chapel, halls, galleries, studios, artists residences. Stunning views from the grounds, as well as vegetable gardens and other items that made the commune self sustaining in its early years. We spent two hours wandering around and I took about 20 photos using my tablet, but I haven't figured out how to post them here. The previous weekend we went out for dinner at the Diamond Creek Tavern for Louise's birthday on Saturday night, then on Sunday we joined Sandra for her birthday at the Studley Park Boathouse.

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